Is Leaky Gut Causing Your Joint Pain?

In this video, Dr. Vikki discusses leaky gut and its potential causes and symptoms. Leaky gut refers to a condition where the lining of the small intestine becomes permeable, allowing undigested food and harmful substances to enter the bloodstream. This can lead to autoimmune diseases, digestive issues, skin conditions, joint pain, inflammation, and mood disorders. Leaky gut can be healed.

Transcript of the video

by Dr. Vikki Petersen

I want to talk to you today about leaky gut. If you like to read about health, you’ve probably heard about it. Maybe you’re confused as to what it is, and more importantly, might you have it yourself.

Role of the small intestine

So your small intestine — when we talk about leaky gut, we’re mostly talking about your small intestine, which is 23 feet long — and it’s interesting because there’s a single layer of cells that make up the lining of your small intestine, and it’s that lining that literally has an intelligence to it. So if you’ve ever heard of your gut being called the second brain, it’s really because of this that I’m about to describe: that is, that when your food comes in and your small intestine and the enzymes have worked on it and it’s properly broken down, then that’s single layer of cells opens up and it says, “Welcome, come into the body, come into my bloodstream and nourish me“.

Okay? And that’s the positive, nutritious end of what the small intestine does with breaking down, absorbing your food.

And then there’s the other side of what it does. And so the other side of the intelligence is there’s a bad bacteria parasite, and it’s trying to get through and everything closes up. It’s like, “No, no, you are not welcome here“. And either the immune system destroys it where it lies at that moment, or you just poop it out, and that’s the end of that bad guy.

And this is why 80% of the human’s immune system is in your gut: to have that ability to deal with these bad guys. A leaky gut is one that’s, instead of opening and closing this intelligence that says, “You may pass, you’re a good guy” and “Nope, you’re not entering“.

Impact of leaky gut

We lose that because of this leakiness, meaning there’s just too much open. And the result of that is food that’s not completely digested and broken down can pass through into your bloodstream prematurely. So that’s not good. And also these bad guys be they bacteria, parasites, toxins they can get through. And all of that puts a burden on your body.

So the causes of leaky gut, there’s a lot of them. I mean, medications can do that. Pesticides, chemicals, environmental toxins, GMO foods, all these “non-food” and stressors that hit our body from a non-natural source, which unfortunately we have a lot of those these days with the way our food is treated and manufactured, et cetera.

So there’s a variety of things that can kind of lead to a leaky gut, but it can be healed. Now, if you want to look at symptoms of what you might have, one is autoimmune disease.

Autoimmune disease

With autoimmune disease, your immune system is mistaking a body part. Let’s say one of the most common one is called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, where your immune system is attacking your thyroid. It does that because it’s confusing the protein of your thyroid in this case for a bad guy. And it is thought that one of the reasons this occurs is that the small intestine has gotten overwhelmed, again, leaky gut, and has allowed too many bad things out into the bloodstream. And then that’s overwhelmed the immune system.

And it’s so barraged by so many negatives that it gets into this what’s called a hypervigilance state. It confuses friend for foe: friend, meaning your body part and the protein of the legitimate bad guy, whether it was a bacteria or a parasite or even a food sensitivity of foods, you’re reacting to poorly. The protein portion of that is confused.

The bad guy entity is then confused for a protein in your body that looks very much like that bad guy. And then that initiates the autoimmune process. So it’s very much believed that one of the contributing factors of autoimmune disease is leaky gut.

So if you have autoimmune disease, you might very well have a leaky gut.

Common effects of leaky gut

Leaky gut causes stomach pain and other disorders Digestive issues of course, make sense. You’ve got, whether it’s bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, intolerance of fatty foods, et cetera, et cetera. Of course, with a leaky gut, you’re not appropriately breaking down your food and absorbing it.

That creates a lot of digestive distress. And so that can, as I said, manifest in a number of ways.

Also IBS and Crohn’s disease colitis… So you really want to get that integrity. That’s what it’s all about, the integrity of that small intestine reestablish, which is something that’s very doable. You very much can do that.

Skin conditions is another one, and you might think of how my skin’s pretty far from my gut… but the skin is known to be a reflection of gut health. So again, if that intestine, if you have the leaky gut and your gut is not functioning the way it should, especially at a toxic burden, the body tries to push toxins out and your skin is hanging on the outside, even though it’s our largest organ, it is on the outside, and the body loves to try to push toxins out in a way, and it will manifest in the skin, whether it’s rashes, eczema, psoriasis, et cetera.

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease. We talked about that earlier, but just as I said, eczema, generalized rashes, dryness, irritation to the skin. So if you have skin conditions, that’s another potential indicator of leaky gut.

Joint pain

We also have joint pains and aches and basically inflammation because again, with a leaky gut, the body is that nice “black and white”. “You’re good, you’re bad“. The bad may not enter. That’s all up for grabs. At that point, that permeability allows too many bad guys to come out into your bloodstream, and that puts a lot of burden on your system, on your immune system out in the bloodstream, and it can manifest in a number of different ways. There’s joint pain. There’s also the inflammatory diseases that many of us are dying from, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, et cetera. So it’s not a good thing to have a leaky gut, but again, you can correct it.

Leaky gut and mood disorders

And last but not least is mood swings, mood disorders. Whether it’s anxiety, depression, brain fog, and again, like the skin, that might sound like a bit of a stretch, but the gut is called the second brain for the reason I mentioned earlier. But it’s also called that because there’s a very tight connection between your brain chemicals and how your gut is functioning.

Serotonin is a very important chemical that’s produced in the gut. We’ve realized a good analogy sometimes I give patients is that, have you ever just had, it’s like, “Oh, I’m stressed. My stomach’s in knots“. There’s that connection we know about or super stressed, and you’re running to the bathroom. And that really epitomizes that connection between the brain and the gut and stress and the gut.

So one of the things we want to make sure we don’t miss is a leaky gut, if you have any sort of mood disorder.

Leaky gut: you can do something about it

So that was a lot, I realize, but the biggest thing is to know leaky gut is a very real thing. It’s not a fad. And it has everything to do with the function of this very important part of your gut that really, as I said, either allows good nutrients that are properly digested into all your 10 trillion cells to feed them and allow them to function… or allows inappropriate organisms, toxins to barrage your bloodstream and then set you up for a variety of problems.

So hopefully that explained it well. And do know that conventional medicine doesn’t necessarily acknowledge the presence of leaky gut. Conventional medicine is more about that little box of what kind of disease do you have and what box we can put you in, and then give you a medication to treat that.

Why Root Cause Medical Clinic

[Leaky gut] is a malfunction. It’s not a disease of your small intestine, it’s a malfunction of your small intestine leading to diseases. So that’s what we do here at Root Cause Medical Clinics: we look at the symptoms that you have and figure out what is the root cause creating that. And then when that is properly addressed, then we don’t have this problem anymore because it’s really been resolved at its root. And that’s really what it’s all about.

So if you’re suffering with any of these conditions, you’re wondering if you have a leaky gut, definitely reach out. We do telemedicine all across the country, and then we have our local clinics, in Clearwater, FL. We’d be delighted to help.

Additional resources

An interesting article on the leaky gut syndrome by the Cleveland Clinic
Abstract of a research paper on leaky gut and intestinal permeability
Healing from leaky gut involves opting for a healthier diet. Check this out.



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